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Our Wayward Fate

Author: Gloria Chao

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s, 2019


Reviewed by Nadhirah binti Salim.

Ali Chu, a 17-year-old student in her rural Indiana school, is aware that in order to get by, she must be as bland as white bread because she is the only Asian student there. This entails trading in her congee lunch for PB&Js, disregarding the ignorance of her classmates and instructors on racism, and remaining silent when Allie is incorrectly used in place of her real name, which is pronounced Ah-Lee after a mountain in Taiwan.

As soon as she learns that Chase Yu, the new student at school, is also Taiwanese, her life on autopilot is upended. Ali and Chase quickly ignite a connection founded in competitive martial arts, laughing in two languages, and most importantly, fighting back against the discrimination they endure. This happens despite some initial reluctance due to the rumours that "they belong together. "However, Ali's mother pressures Ali to break up with the relationship when she learns about it. Ali is forced to reevaluate all she believed she understood about life, love, and her unpredictable future as she stealthily investigates the reasons behind her mother's displeasure and unearths truths about her family and Chase.

The narrative of Ali is interlaced with passages from a love story set in nineteenth-century China that are connected to her fate.


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